Turning Cincy’s Hot Spots into Hotspots



Photo by Wes Battoclette

Cincinnati Bell this summer is bringing innovations to the region that will leverage its fiber network and allow residents, visitors and businesses to interact in new, powerful ways. Cincinnati Bell has developed a free mobile app, Connect Cincinnati, which will complement the technology company’s growing number of free, high-speed WiFi hotspots in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. 

The goal is to create a new level of connectivity in Greater Cincinnati, the company says.

“We are committed to continuing this company’s tradition of innovation,” says Christi Cornette, senior vice president of marketing for Cincinnati Bell. “Our technology will help residents and visitors of all backgrounds stay connected at premium speeds.”

The mobile app and WiFi hotspots are the cornerstones of Cincinnati Bell’s “Light Up Cincinnati” initiative, which launched in 2014. The company successfully implemented free WiFi at Sawyer Point’s Bunbury Music Festival last year, and has since expanded into Downtown and Over-the-Rhine locations.

Hotspots are currently located at Fountain Square, Findlay Market, Aronoff Center lobby, Sawyer Point, The Banks and Smale Park. Washington Park will also eventually be lit up. Cincinnati Bell is partnering with the City of Cincinnati on the WiFi initiative, which Cornette said will also spread outside the urban core and into Northern Kentucky.

The Connect Cincinnati mobile app will be available this summer and serve as a gateway to Cincinnati Bell’s hotspots throughout town. It will also connect consumers to the region’s businesses and amazing assets. For example, as a user walks past a participating business or restaurant, the mobile app might send a push notification to the user’s phone, notifying them of current specials. 

“Cincinnati Bell has always been about connecting people, and this mobile app and our public WiFi hotspots are the latest examples of that,” Cornette says. “We’re connecting people with friends and families, and businesses with customers.”

The “Light Up Cincinnati” Fioptics network offers a stronger connection than average customers have in their homes, and enables high-speed connectivity for large groups of people. Public WiFi users are increasingly made up of consumers surfing the web, streaming videos and uploading photos. They expect a reliable data connection on the go.

Cincinnati Bell eventually plans to roll out additional phases of Light Up Cincinnati that will include self-serve kiosks in the Downtown Business District. Those kiosks will provide users with educational materials about the city. 

While the mobile app will give Cincinnati Bell customers access to special values, Cornette stresses that the basic version of the mobile app is available to all members of the public. She also notes that Cincinnati Bell is committed to deploying public WiFi to underserved parts of the region, allowing schools and organizations to utilize the educational potential of the Internet.

“We know technology has the power to change lives and are proud to do our part with ‘Light Up Cincinnati,’ ” Cornette says.

For more information on Light Up Cincinnati, visit www.cincinnatibell.com/connectcincinnati.